The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: December 2008

December 15, 2008

Year 2, Week 26 Results: 1.8 oz of plastic waste.

It’s raining and hailing and cold outside, and we still haven’t turned on our central heating. As I sit here in my one-piece footie pajamas (that I’ve been wearing all day), fuzzy slippers, and mug of hot tea, I’m just glad I don’t have to go out tonight. Oh, wait. I do. I have to go out to the ice skating party at the Embarcadero, hosted by Michael’s law firm. (Apparently, it’s not raining across the bay in San Francisco.) Um… on second thought, no. I’m staying in and writing up my plastic tally for last week.

Here it is!

Plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began: 1 broken plastic slotted spoon. I’ve replaced it with a metal/wood version I found at a thrift store along with a few more wooden spoons for 25 cents each. As I’ve mentioned before, there still are quite a few durable plastic items in this house. When I made the decision to go plastic-free, … Read the rest

December 10, 2008

Caring for the planet right now.

The topic of this month’s APLS blog carnival is “maintaining this world for future generations.” The carnival will be hosted on December 15 at Robbie’s Going Green Mama blog. And I have to admit, this month I almost decided to pass. Because I don’t have children. And honestly, my motivation to care for the planet has almost nothing to do with future generations and everything to do with this moment… this one… right here… now.

Right now, there are Laysan albatross chicks starving to death with bellies full of plastic bottle caps.

Right now, there are sea turtles choking on plastic bags.

Right now, there are fish swallowing PCB-coated “nurdles” and passing those toxins up the food chain to us.

Right now, there are children being poisoned by the BPA leaching from their food containers.

Right now, there are PVC workers breathing carcinogenic fumes and developing rare tumors.

Right… Read the rest

December 10, 2008

Dec 18: Day Without A (Disposable) Bag

Have you all seen the recent article in the NY Times about the decreased market for recycled materials? Apparently, much of the cardboard, newspaper, metals, and plastic that we toss in our recycling bins is piling up and making its way to landfills, as recycling contractors are unable to find buyers for the stuff.

I’ve said it before. Recycling is important, but it’s not the final answer. Decreasing our dependence on disposables in the first place is more important now than ever. And one of our first steps can be giving up, and encouraging others to give up, disposable bags.

Heal The Bay in Los Angeles County has declared December 18 a Day Without A Bag. Read what they have to say about it, and then continue reading to find out how you can stage your own “Day Without A Bag.”

Day Without A Bag, held annually in the month of December, is a public awareness campaign to urge shoppers to give a present to the environment, in the spirit … Read the rest

December 9, 2008

Contest Winner. Year 2, Week 25 Results: 1.4 oz of plastic waste.

Wow. Is it Tuesday already? Busy, busy week. And not much time for blogging. I was surprised that so many people knew that Icon is the name of Madonna’s fan club. And then I remembered Google. Right. How many of you actually knew the answer to last week’s question without looking it up?

So anyway, Kim is the winner because she answered correctly first. So Kim, please email me your contact info and mailing address. I have some questions for you.

And now, the tally…

Plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began:

1 Sicilia lemon juice bottle and cap. This is the last plastic-bottled lemon juice in the house! Used medicinally for the last couple of weeks. Fresh lemons only here on out.

New plastic waste:

1 plastic envelope window. Financial West Group statement. They do not yet offer online statements. 1 codeine cough syrup bottle & cap. Was good while it lasted. 1 plastic soy sauce cup. Had sushi with our… Read the rest
December 5, 2008

Ticked off Women with Bones to Pick

Ever since I started the Take Back The Filter Campaign, and especially since it’s ended, I’ve been getting emails from folks with ideas for additional campaigns for me to start. And what I say to them is, “Hey, that’s a great idea! Go for it!” I’m just one person who had a bone to pick with my water filter company. You guys may find other issues that particularly stick in your craw. (Okay, what’s all this picking and sticking? I don’t even know what these expressions mean.)

Don’t wait for someone else to start a movement. Start one yourselves. The Internet makes it possible for regular folks like you and me to reach the world and get heard. At some point, I plan to write a book report on “What I learned from starting a campaign.” But not tonight. It’s late, and I’ve got to get up early and carol tomorrow with a bunch of pre-schoolers at a senior center. (Part of my intentionRead the rest

December 3, 2008

Dear family and friends,

Happy holidays! It’s the time of year for snow and ice. Or light-strung palm trees, depending on where you live. Here in Oakland, we haven’t even turned on our central heating yet. My toes are mildly chilly — a condition easily remedied by fuzzy slippers, which I have on right now.

No matter what the weather, we’re probably all seeing a lot of the same sights and sounds: Christmas jingles, holiday lights, billboards blaring gift ideas, and commercials… commercials… commercials…

The mad rush can be overwhelming if we buy into the messages urging us to “Shop! Shop! Shop!” But it can also be exhilarating to view from the sidelines, as a bystander experiencing the thrill of the season without all the anxiety that can come with it.

This year, I’m not getting caught in the Christmas madness, but I’m not going to shun it either. I’d love to remember what it felt like as a kid when,… Read the rest

December 3, 2008

Holiday No Plastic Packaging Challenge

An earlier version of this post appeared on Blogher. The current version will be posted as part of the Green Moms Carnival on The Smart Mama blog December 15.

Have you seen Amy Gates’s No Plastic Holiday Challenge at Crunchy Domestic Goddess? It warms my heart when other bloggers get on the no-plastic bandwagon. If you haven’t already, please click the link to take the pledge and read her article. Then come back here (yes, come back!) for ideas about how to de-plastic the packaging for your plastic-free gifts. It doesn’t help to buy a beautiful handmade plastic-free gift from an Etsy seller, only to have them send it to you smothered in bubble wrap or inside a box covered in plastic tape.

Plastic packaging is just the kind of disposable material that is making its way to the North Pacific Gyre. (Isn’t it ironic that a material that lasts forever in the environment is so often made into single-use disposable products?)

So what … Read the rest

December 2, 2008

Another silly contest. Year 2, Week 24 Results: 2.2 oz of plastic waste.

Feeling much better this week, thanks to a lot of sleep, hot water, and Thanksgiving dinner! (Thanksgiving dinner is good for everything, right?) I’m late posting the tally this week because Michael and I went for a bike ride yesterday which left me so exhausted, I fell into bed and slept for 14 hours straight. But, Michael tells me, we have a rule in our house that no one ever has to apologize for sleeping too much. Wouldn’t you like to live here?

So, here we go. Plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began: 3 credit & membership cards. Chase VISA, expired; Cala foods card, expired. One fan club membership card, kind of embarrassing. I’ll send a prize to whomever can figure out what fan club is represented by the card in the lower left corner. Certain people are not allowed to answer: Mark, Red, and possibly Michael (although he might not know the answer.) I used to be a crazed fan of this person and collected… Read the rest